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The Trump administration’s three-year campaign to block access to asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border led to its use of a scorched-earth tactic at the start of the coronavirus pandemic — border expulsions under orders from the U.S. Centers for…
People hold a protest sign that reads "Save asylum"
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Written Testimony Submitted to the US State Department and other Federal Agencies, Alison Parker, US Program, Human Rights Watch

Thank you for this opportunity to provide information and raise questions about US immigration enforcement and US obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Human Rights Watch recognizes the Biden…
Two Customs and Border Protection agents on horseback approach three Haitian migrants standing in the river. The migrants are holding bags and shoes.
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The Biden-Harris administration has announced that on May 23, it plans to end the Trump-era policy that has kept the southern U.S. border effectively closed to asylum seekers for more than two years. The policy, which misused a public health statute…
A migrant family crosses the border into El Paso, Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
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Updated April 15, 2022

Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Resolution 43/1 Report on the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Africans/People of African Descent against Excessive Use of Force Originally submitted March 9, 2021;…
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The protracted conflict in Yemen has killed almost a quarter of a million people directly or indirectly due to inadequate food, health care, and infrastructure. It has included unlawful attack after unlawful attack, with homes, hospitals, schools, and…
People inspect a damaged building in Sanaa, Yemen.
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President Biden’s announcement that the United States will resettle 100,000 Ukrainian refugees appears on its face to be a positive, straightforward response to the 3 million-plus Ukrainians who have fled the fighting in their country since Feb. 24. Yet,…
People hold their belongings as they wait to get into a van
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As U.S. officials face continued criticism for the mistreatment and mass expulsions of Haitians who arrived at the U.S. southern border, with many given no chance to apply for asylum, the situation of another group of Black asylum seekers is now also in…
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The way the United States handles the arrival of migrants at the southern border is in dire need of reform, as border control agents themselves have told me. Recently, eight former U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents spoke with me about the…
A man stands with his hands on the back of a van marked "Border Patrol"
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On January 25, 2019, US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador began the “Remain in Mexico” or MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols) program. Under it, US border officials return non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait…
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After images of Border Patrol agents on horseback aggressively swinging lariats at and chasing Black migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border shocked the public in September, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was quick to promise a…
A man stands with his hands on the back of a van marked "Border Patrol"
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Case Management Programs Cost Less and Are More Humane than Imprisoning Asylum Seekers

A door has cracked open to the possibility of a future in which people fleeing their home countries might not be subjected to the oppressive walls of detention centers. In August, the US Department of Homeland Security announced a Case Management Pilot…
Photo of person being released from immigration detention.
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Just as largely unprecedented mass street protests erupted on the streets in Cuba [“In the streets, Cubans ‘have lost their fear’, ” front page, July 13], the Coast Guard’s interdiction of a boat off the coast of Key West and summary return of Cubans…
A Coast Guard Station Marathon boat crew and 15 migrants aboard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium near Big Pine Key, Florida on July 3, 2021. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Estrada. Source: United States Coast Guard
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A federal judge in California ruled on April 21 that the Iraqi extradition case against Omar Ameen, a resettled refugee in the U.S., was based on an alleged series of events that is "simply not plausible." The evidence the government presented,…
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Processing asylum claims at the US border is a Gordian knot in need of a clean cut. My scissors are ready. The solution is not procedural, but rather, a simpler, fairer asylum standard that will allow US decision-makers to quickly identify and protect…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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More than 100 days into his term, President Joe Biden has yet to take significant steps to change course on immigration detention. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) still holding over 16,000 immigrants and asylum seekers, he needs to end the…
A woman walks carrying her child at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas, August 23, 2019. 
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Almost three years ago, the world heard a group of children sobbing in anguish after US border agents forcibly separated them from their parents. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed as a candidate to end abuses of migrant children and pledged to “…
Asylum seeker Yareni, age five, flips through the pages of a book in an encampment where she lives near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico.
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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